Saturday, August 09, 2008

63 years and counting!

That's how long it's been since an atomic bomb has been dropped on human beings. Everyone seems to notice Hiroshima Day, and the first bomb. Few people seem to notice Nagasaki Day, the anniversary of the last atomic bomb ever dropped on human beings.

Here are some people who did:

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan marked the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki with a solemn ceremony on Saturday and a call for world powers to abandon their nuclear weapons.

Thousands of children, elderly survivors and dignitaries in the city's Peace Park bowed their heads in a minute of silence at 11:02 a.m. (3:02 a.m. British time), the time the bomb was dropped, to remember the tens of thousands who ultimately died from the blast.

"The United States and Russia must take the lead in striving to abolish nuclear weapons," Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said at the gathering, which included Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Chris Lugo:

On August 9th, 1945 at 11:01am the United States of America dropped a nuclear bomb on a pre-designated city in Japan killing 80,000 people in the second of two nuclear attacks. This attack was the only time that nuclear weapons have been used as an instrument of war, and it could be the last, if we generate the political will to dismantle our weapons of mass destruction, abide by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and create a federal level department of peace.

The Mainichi Daily News:

NAGASAKI -- Thousands of people including atomic bomb survivors gathered in Nagasaki on Saturday in a ceremony to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Aug. 9, 1945 atomic bomb attack on the city.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Takashi Nagai (1908-1951), a physician who cared for wounded survivors, or hibakusha, in spite of his own injures. In a Peace Declaration during the ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park, near ground zero, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue quoted Nagai, saying, "There is no winning or losing in war; there is only ruin."

. . .

In a Peace Declaration read out at the ceremony Taue mentioned that people including former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Schulz had submitted an article on steps toward a nuclear free world, adding that the authors were promoting the United States ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The declaration pointed out that Russia and the United States are said to together possess 95 percent of the world's nuclear warheads and said these two countries "should begin implementing broad reductions of nuclear weapons."

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